The Digital Revolution and Film

Now that millions of cameras are in the hands of amateurs and professionals alike, there is a revolution in movie making and exhibition. All the rules of cinema are out the window, as these cameras now produce enough resolution that even theatrical projection is possible.

However, the theaters only have room for studio pictures made with major stars, movies that are well over $50 million in budget.

DVD releasing and Internet streaming are now the most frequent mode of exhibition for the great majority of professional movies. The amateurs exhibit their extravaganzas on Youtube, Myspace and their clones.

Where does this leave filmmaking? Filmmaking is preserved by a few filmmakers around the world. Ironically, filmmaking has been invigorated by the Digital Revolution. Even though indie producers make movies with digital cameras, film is still king.

All the professional digital cameras have features to produce the “film look.” There are lens attachments and myriads of plug-ins. Digital movie makers buy thousands of dollars worth of plug-ins for their expensive cameras and, moreover, spend thousands more on editing suites and computers. It is not unusual for a digital producer to spend $100,000 or even $200,000 on digital gear to simulate the “look of film.”

Many young movie makers are oblivious to the fact that a filmmaker can shoot an entire 35mm feature film for $50,000 – including camera, sound, film stock, developing, editing, negative cutting and printing.

But the hysteria to go digital is so great that producers go stark raving mad and buy the latest digital cameras that are literally obsolete by the time they read the user manuals. They want to shoot digital movies so bad that they ignore the fact that they’re now spending twice the money they would’ve spent if they’d shot their movies on film.

Film is dead, long live film.
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